RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) on Saturday approved the construction of 100 feet tallbuildings along the G.T. Road and 65ft tall buildings along the city’s 16 commercial roads.

The RDA also approved a third party evaluation of the Walayat Complex as well as 48 housing societies in the distrist.

The Walayat Complex is owned by PML-N Senator Chaudhry Tanveer Khan and is alleged to have been built on state land. The RDA has decided to carry out a third party audit of the land and the approval given during the tenure of the last PML-N government.

The decisions were made at the 46th meeting of the RDA’s governing body, led by Chairman Tariq Mehmood Murtaza and attended by MPAs, experts, RDA Director General Ammara Khan, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Managing Director Mohammad Tanveer and representatives of the finance, housing and urban development, planning and development and local government departments and the commissioner and deputy commissioner’s offices.

Maximum height of buildings along 16 commercial roads in city area increased to 65ft

The governing body approved various agenda items after discussion, including raising the permitted height of buildings along 16 commercial roads from 38ft to 65ft.

The roads include High Court Road, Saidpur Road, Adiala Road, Chakri Road, Chak Beli Khan Road, Fatehjang Road, Dhamial Road, Girja Road, Chakri Road, Rashid Minhas Road and Asghar Mall Road.

Mr Murtaza told Dawn that 100ft tall buildings would only be permitted in the G.T. Road, and “the builder would ensure the design will be made earthquake-proof”.

He said the RDA board has approved outsourcing building inspections, and a private firm will be hired in this regard.

“The firm will inform the civic body of illegal construction in urban and rural areas and the establishment of housing schemes and the RDA will take action against them,” he said.

Laws regarding private housing schemes have been amended and the RDA will allow schemes that have enough land, he said.

“Earlier, the RDA did not check the land but now it will check whether the housing scheme is being constructed on state or encroached land,” he said.

The board also approved the addition of three more storeys to the Fawara Chowk multi-storey car park, he said, as the existing three storeys are not enough to accommodate all the vehicles in Raja Bazaar.

The RDA has decided to get back 500 shops in Sherpao Colony and other areas from the Rawalpindi Metropolitan Corporation (RMC), Mr Murtaza said, adding that the RMC has been collecting rent from the shopkeepers and it should be deposited in RDA accounts.

Members of the meeting also discussed the establishment of a daycare centre for children of RDA employees, as well as the establishment of an information technology wing.

Wasa presented its agenda regarding the inclusion of a rainwater harvesting plan in RDA building by-laws and members approved a proposal under which no building plan would be approved without a rainwater accumulation tank on the roof.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2020